Contrary, fresh and anti-authoritarian
After the death of her parents, Fien lived with her strict grandmother for a while, but now she’s at the YIN home for ‘young ladies in need’. She doesn’t like it there at all and hopes that someone will come along one day and want to take her home. But the people always choose nicer, more easy-going girls. She finds consolation in her talent for drawing, turning all of her sadness and doubts into magnificent pictures, which form a sort of illustrated diary.
One day, she makes friends with Wuf, a woman who always comes up with the craziest plans and does fun things with Fien: eating out at a restaurant and not paying the slightest attention to all the smart customers, or making music in a club, even if you’re no good at it. Wuf even wants to put on an exhibition of the pictures that Fien has drawn, with the title of My Life in 27 Drawings. Fien begins to feel that she’s worth bothering with and she starts to thrive. When Wuf tells Fien that she wants to take her out of the home, it seems as though Fien will finally be happy. But the child-welfare officer is against the plan. Fien becomes scared. Can she really count on Wuf?
Jan Jutte’s illustrations in Kies mij! (Choose Me!) are really the drawings that Fien makes of her life. They form a kind of diary that runs throughout the book. Under every drawing Fien tells you what she’s drawn. ‘What sort of animal would Wuf be if she was an animal? I’ve done a lot of rubbing out, so the paper round her’s got a bit rough. To start with, she was a bit cattish, then bearish, then cowish and then something in between.’